A 72-year old man stabbed Rev Tomy Kalathoor Mathew in the neck, moments before he was about to say mass at a Melbourne church.
According to reports, the assailant said Rev Mathew was Indian so he was either Hindu or Muslim, and hence could not say mass.
The man has been arrested and is scheduled to attend a court hearing on 13 June.
Rampant hate crimes in Australia
Rev Mathew recovering
Rev Mathew said he came out of the attack alive thanks to the grace of God.
He had worn special robes for the mass in addition to thick clothes, which helped stop the blade of the knife from penetrating deeper.
Authorities said his injuries were non-life threatening and he had only superficial injuries to his neck muscles.
St. Matthew's Parish issues statement
The St. Matthew's Parish in North Fawkner where the incident took place issued a statement after the incident. They said "We understand what has happened today has been shocking to our parish community...To all of you, thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts."
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27 Mar 2017
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